Snow White's Scary Adventures
Snow White's Scary Adventures originally opened as Snow White's Adventures on October 1, 1971 with the rest of the Magic Kingdom. Like many of the Magic Kingdom's opening day attractions, Snow White had originally been a Disneyland attraction, and was copied for inclusion in Disney's newest park.
While Snow White's Adventures proved to be popular upon its opening, the attraction was the frequent target of complaints by guests. Like its Disneyland counterpart, the original version of Snow White's Adventures did not feature the title character at all. Instead, the attraction was designed so that guests took the place of the film's heroine and experienced the events as if they were Snow White. Because of the esoteric approach that Imagineers took to telling the attraction's story, many guests did not understand that they were essentially Snow White's stand in, and frequently asked where the princess was. The second complaint that was often lofted at the attraction, was that it was simply too scary. The ethos of Snow White's Adventures was dark and menacing, a tone that many guests did not expect from a Fantasyland dark ride.
In response to guest concerns about the frightening nature of Snow White's Adventures, Disney attempted two remedies in order to warn guests. The first change came in when Disney renamed the attraction "Snow White's Scary Adventures". This rename, in conjunction with the addition of a sing warning guests to "beware the Wicked Witch" as she may frighten small children's on the ride, was Disney's attempt to prepare guests for the dark tone of the attraction.
The original version of Snow White's Scary Adventures continued to run until the summer of 1994, when the attraction closed for refurbishment. During the closure of the attraction, Disney attempted to make answer the two complaints that often plagued Snow White's Scary Adventures. To this end, a large number of changes were made that changed both the story the attraction told, as well as its ethos.
In order to make Snow White's Scary Adventures appeal to a wider audience, the darkness of the attraction was significantly toned down. The most significant change to come to the ride, was the addition of Snow White. With guests no longer taking the place of the films heroine, three Snow White animatronics and two large paintings were added to the attraction, in order to tell the princesses' story.
Also changing the plot of the attraction, was the addition of a new finale, in which the Wicked Witch was defeated and Snow White and her friends live happily ever after. To create space for the new ending, the original Mine scene had to be shortened.
In addition to these narrative changes, the new version of Snow White's Scary Adventures featured other significant changes. In order to further lighten the mood of the attraction, the Seven Dwarfs were featured more prominently, first in the their cottage, and then later during the attraction's finale. In addition to these alterations, other changes that occured during the 1994 refurbishment included:
- The replacement of the attraction's original mirror with a new "magic mirror"
- The replacement of one of the skeletons that served as a foreboding warning to guests was replaced by a new Wicked Witch figure.
- The lighting in the attraction was altered so that each scene was now brighter.
- Two Wicked Witch figures were removed completely.
- The forest that guests traveled through on the attraction was toned down to be less frightening.
Snow White's Scary Adventures began in the Evil Queen's Castle Courtyard. Here, guests could see a miniature version of the Wishing Well that was seen in the original 1937 film. Here, guests could hear Snow White singing the song "I'm Wishing".
After circling the Wishing Well, guests ride vehicle would head towards the Seven Dwarfs Cottage, before making a "u-turn" and approaching the Evil Queen standing in the window. As guests approached, the Queen would part her windows and glare menacing below. Guests would then continue forward, entering the castle and the Queen's Throne Room. In this room, guests saw the Queen transform before their eyes into the Wicked Witch. In front of her Magic Mirror, the Queen would begin "Mirror, Mirror on the Wall" before transforming into the hideous hag and screeching "I am the fairest one of all!".
Getting away from the Witch, and moving farther into the castle, guests entered the Queen's Dungeon. Here, the passed a series of skeletons who moved their jaws and warned guests to escape while they still could.
Ignoring the skeleton's warnings and moving on in the castle, guests passed by the Wicked Witch's lab equipment, as her pet raven sat watching, perched atop a skull. Further into the scene, the Wicked Witch could be see at her cauldron, preparing her poison apple for Snow White. As guests passed the Witch, she would cackle "Have an apple, dearie?". The ride vehicles would then pass under a falling lab shelf, escaping just before being hit, and exiting the castle.
Exiting the Queen's castle, guests found themselves on a lake at the edge of a forest. Here the Wicked Witch would float by on a boat, offering the poison apples to guests.
Entering the Dark Forest forest, guests would see ominous crocodiles eyeing the ride vehicles as they passed by. After the last group of crocodiles attempted to snap at guests as they passed by, the ride vehicles drove deeper into the forest, where monster trees with red eyes surrounded them. Throughout the forest guests could see pair of glowing eyes, looking on as they traveled farther and farther in. Within the forest a "banshee wail" could be heard.
After traveling through the forest, guests would eventually reach the Seven Dwarf's Cottage. Here unseen eyes continued to watch guests. Inside the cottage, anthropomorphic objects with frightened eyes surrounded guests. Guests then entered the next room, where the Seven Dwarfs are seen climbing their stairs. Full of trepidation, the Dwarfs seem to climbing towards a demon like shadow which sits atop the stairs. In this scene, the eye motif that carried throughout the attraction, continued in the form of little owl carvings on the staircase. At the end of the cottage scene, guests once again came face to face with the Wicked Witch, who appeared at the cottage door, offering her apple.
Exiting the cottage, and re-entering the woods, guests would once again see the Wicked Witch holding her apple. Perched above the antagonist, were two vultures who looked on.
After moving through the forest again, guests reached the Seven Dwarf's Diamond Mine, where "a million diamonds" glimmered all around. Despite the beauty of the jewels, and the visually impressive "endless" mineshaft, the Wicked Witch remained omnipresent.
As guests traveled through the mine, the witch could be heard moving around. She would then appear, attempting to crush guests by bushing a timber beam off its support columns.
Once again surviving the witch's murderous attempt, the ride vehicles continued deeper into the mineshaft, which seemed to be collapsing. At the end of the shaft, a speeding minecart almost collided with guests, as a cackling Witch could be heard in the in the distance.
Entering the mine's vault, guests could see giant diamonds all around. As they headed for the door however, the Wicked Witch could be seen above, prying a giant diamond loose, and attempting to drop it on guests. At this moment, guests could hear the Witch screech "Goodbye, dearie" and the door vanished with crash.